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Thursday, 28 April 2016

With malice towards none...




The girl gang was waiting. Messages beeped in the whats app group, confirming where all of them were, if they have started from home and in between what was the outfit chosen. They were five, within a span of ten years in the same job and...friends...yes Rima hoped so. There were sub groups within the group and she was closest to Aastha, the youngest of the lot, remaining three were friends of course but Rima knew they were more friends among themselves and two were closest out of the three. Let it be, she adjusted her palazzos , pulled her crop top, put on her danglers. She knew she would be subjected to a scrutiny, an acid test and coming out unscathed was almost impossible specially from Shreya, the most successful of them among all and they all were very smart, waif thin and creamy skinned. 

As a teen, Rima consciously made an effort to avoid the pretty popular girls as friends, she wasn,t sure because she was jealous or simply because it made things easy for her, it helped her spare any effort to look chic and updated. Things began to change though and Rima,s friend circle had expanded and had all sorts of persons and for her it was a great leap when she began to wear jeans, trousers, dresses at ease and salwar suits took a backseat. That was when she guessed her friend circles began to include all types of girls she avoided consciously before.

It took a real lot to dress up and sometimes Rima just wanted to give it up all, but it was not possible by any means now. She screamed at her domestic help to take out a clutch matching her outfit and of course her help screamed back.

' I can,t... always you will shout in the last moment.' 

Lots of tussle, clutch pulled out, rejected and ultimately she settled for golden a sling bag.

'Didi , put my wallet inside the bag and my cell as well' Rima asked her help again. 'And didi please click some pics before i go out.'

Didi shot back with a volley of answers to which Rima paid no heed. She was almost done now, a touch of gloss and kohl, dabbing powder at cheeks.

'Didi those golden heels please' 

Rima was on her way now,  to a plush mall in the city, that's where they go to celebrate birthdays generally. Honestly Rima was a bit bored of mall hopping and eating the same old stuff but the group rules. And come to think of it she didn't know much of their personal life as well except for the tit bits they shared with pleasure. For instance she had no idea Aastha  was engaged before two months until she spilled the beans a week back! Was this friendship.... Aastha had sited uncertainty as an excuse she could not disclose!! Oh really but Rima had mastered the art of nonchalance , coat some layers above where it hurts and there she is cool and breezy off to lunch and shopping.

Five of them met, hugged, touched up their make up in the washroom, complemented each other, subtly pointing the flaws ( ah how she hated this) .

You could have skipped the danglers.

They clicked lots of pics, posed and reposed, pouted and giggled.Lambasted the male colleagues, made sub groups, gossiped and shopped. Shreya tried to control the herd but the girls were wild. Lunch was another dicey affair, they were conventional veg eaters all except Aastha and they would survive on minimal food guess that was the reason for their petiteness. Rima ended up not liking the lunch at all at most of their gatherings!

I will make up when i go out with Shekhar.

She thought of their sinful sumptuous meals with lots of meats as she had naan and potatoes quietly. Even ordering for herself and gorging alone wasn't fun so she complied with the group. And as usual the petite girls would be full after a few bites and a piece of half naan would do the rounds until she or Shreya ( who did have an appetite after all) would gobble it up.

They shopped for Preeti whose birthday they were celebrating and eventually tried loads of outfits on themselves as well. Evening coffee, some more clicks and they were ready for home.

The process was repeated five times a year on five birthdays , most of the times all could make it, pictures uploaded on facebook....likes and comments.

Rima loved it all, to stand with them and get yourself clicked and almost looking at par was an achievement! At least for her. Only sometimes she was stunned at the friendship part....she did not know of their crushes, of their secret dreams, she did not know why Aastha did not tell of her engagement, for what reason pretty Preeti chose to be single...why Diya stays with her mom.

The entire office knew of their camaraderie and gossips apart appreciated the girl bonding and efficiency they brought to work apart from glamour and seizing the best work slots from the men around or thats what men felt.

It wasn't all fake the cohesivity but not all true either. But who cares really, since she knew to coat herself with extra insensivities it did not hurt. Or does it...na Rima was way past all those days of yore when she would be in tears if she was pushed to a corner of the bench they shared and  Devika and Mithu giggled and whispered. She would know every secret they had and threatened her to keep all to hersellf!

Rima had come of age. She was already planning her outfit for the next gathering.